Athens Acropolis: Parthenon: Distant context view from the northwest
During the second half of the 5th century BC the Acropolis became the focal point of the great building programme initiated by Pericles and was adorned with a group of magnificent marble buildings in honour of Athena. This temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos (‘maiden’) was the first and by far most impressive of the new structures. Inscriptions recording its building accounts show that it was started in 447 BC and that construction was sufficiently advanced by 438 BC for the cult statue of Athena to be installed. Further work on the architectural sculpture continued until 432 BC. Made entirely of Pentelic marble, the Parthenon is generally regarded as the most outstanding building in the Doric order. While large (30.88 x 69.51 m), it is far smaller than the gigantic temples of Asia Minor and Sicily, and there are several other temples entirely of marble; even so, the Parthenon is set apart by the grandeur of its plan, its architectural refinements and the lavishness of its mouldings and sculptural decoration. According to inscriptions as well as the writings of Plutarch, Kallikrates designed the Temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis. There is also suggestion that he was the designer of the Ionic elements of the Parthenon. It is unclear what role Pheidias played in its design, but, as sculptor of the cult statue and general overseer of the Periclean building programme, he must have had some influence.